They did spelling beside the ironing board, or while I kneaded bread; they gave the tables up to 15 times 15 to the treadle of the sewing machine. Mental problems, printed in figures on large cards, they solved while they raced across the …r oom to write the answers …a nd learned to think on their feet. Nine written problems done correctly, without help, meant no tenth problem ….I t was surprising in how little time they finished their work-to watch the butchering, to help drive the bawling calves zakelijke energie into the weaning pen, or to get to the corral, when they heard the hoofbeats of running horses and the cries of cowboys crossing the creek.
No amount of intellectual curiosity or academic discipline was ever going to hold a boy’s attention if someone came in saying that the milk cow was mired in a bog hole or that old George was out by the wild-horse corral with the biggest coyote ever killed in the region, or if the door opened and, as David recalls an all too typical event, “they were carrying in a cowboy with guts ripped out by a saddle horn.” The lessons stopped, the treadle stopped, and she sewed up the cowboy. Across a short span of time, she had come a long way with these bunkhouse buckaroos. In her early years on the ranch, she had a lesser sense of fitting in than she would have had had she been a mare, a cow, or a ewe. She did not see another woman for as much as six months at a stretch, and if she happened to approach a group of working ranch hands they would loudly call out, “Church time!” She found “the sudden silence …a ppalling.” Women were so rare in the country that when she lost a glove on the open range, at least twenty miles from home, a zakelijke energie vergelijken stranger who found it learned easily whose it must be and rode to the ranch to return it. Men did the housekeeping and the cooking, and went off to buy provisions at distant markets. Meals prepared in the bunkhouse were carried to a sheep wagon, where she and John lived while the big house was being built and otherwise assembled. The Wyoming sheep wagon was the ancestral Winnebago. It had a spring bed and a kitchenette.